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Old 2021-02-02, 20:45   #23
pinhodecarlos
 
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Legal in Brazilian Portuguese means cool, nice.
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Old 2021-03-27, 22:30   #24
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From a report by an American for the BBC on US president Biden's first press conference:

"Biden's performance was ... akin to a cautious walk across a not-quite-frozen lake.
Every step was careful and calculated, lest an unexpected crack led to a dark, icy fate."

What stands out here is that English appears to be missing a word.
In Dutch, we call it a "wak": a natural hole or weak spot in the ice.
It's such a basic concept that it's a big surprise to find no English equivalent!
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Old 2021-03-28, 00:15   #25
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A single word seems to be missing even from languages associated with cold climates such as Russian and Norwegian. Corrections are welcome. However in English two words have a very similar meaning:
Thin-Ice
https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/an.../thin_ice.html
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Old 2021-03-28, 01:09   #26
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1call View Post
A single word seems to be missing even from languages associated with cold climates such as Russian and Norwegian. Corrections are welcome. However in English two words have a very similar meaning:
Thin-Ice
https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/an.../thin_ice.html
Here in the good ol' USA, "on thin ice" means doing something decidedly risky or possibly foolhardy, such as the President giving a coherent answer to a question about the Senate filibuster rule. There are snappier ways to avoid a question than appearing to lose your train of thought and waving the question away, though. A common approach is to change the subject.

Quote:
It wasn't exactly a bravura performance, but conservatives have set the bar so low for Biden's coherence, that as in the presidential debates, Biden was able to surpass most expectations.
"Set the bar so low for Biden's coherence" means that a lot of his detractors insist he has dementia (e.g. Alzheimer's).

Amusingly, here in the good ol' USA, one of the first basic questions that is asked of a (usually elderly) patient in order to determine whether they are "oriented" is, "Who is the President of the United States?" It might be amusing to ask some of his detractors that question, to see whether they answer correctly...
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Old 2021-03-28, 03:17   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Here in the good ol' USA, "on thin ice" means doing something decidedly risky or possibly foolhardy, such as ...
This just happened - a person was skiing on thin ice and drowned. He was 68 and fairly well known in narrow circles.
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Old 2021-03-28, 03:41   #28
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This is my favourite bilingual pun to demonstrate to friends that are bilingual. It works best out loud, not written, that is the key.
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Old 2021-03-28, 04:06   #29
a1call
 
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Quote:

A last example: a lexicon of sea ice terminology in Nunavik (Appendix A of the collective work Siku: Knowing Our Ice, 2010) includes no fewer than 93 different words. These include general appellations such as siku, but also terms as specialized as qautsaulittuq, ice that breaks after its strength has been tested with a harpoon; kiviniq, a depression in shore ice caused by the weight of the water that passed over and accumulated on its surface during the tide; and iniruvik, ice that cracked because of tide changes and that the cold weather refroze.

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia....r-snow-and-ice
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Old 2021-03-28, 08:08   #30
LaurV
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In Thai there are many words which would have different (sometimes funny) meaning in English or Romanian. Like for example, the Thai word for "boy" or "man", as pronounced in northern region, would mean something like "owner of a small dick" in Romanian, a term which may be used to call very young boys (like toddlers). I guess they both have some Sanskrit, common origin. Contrary to popular beliefs, there are many "common" words in Thai and European languages, if you "listen for gist". And I do not talk about neologisms, or technical things that was almost always borrowed from English, German, French, or Spanish, but about very old words, with common origin, whose origin deviated a bit, but still can be "traced". Like for example, the word "hand", which in Romanian is "mână", from Latin "mana" (common in Italian, Spanish, etc), well, you would not be surprised to see that in Thai, there is the word "mân", which means "ten thousands". See any connection? (hint: fingers). In fact, they split the numbers in groups of 6 digits (not in threes, like Europeans/Americans, and this is not as uncommon as it would appear, for example Chinese may split them in groups of 4, having a name for what we call "ten thousands"), and therefore, what we call "tens, hundreds, thousands" they call "sip, roi, pan", but they won't start again with "tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands", but continue with "mân, saen, laan". Laan is a million. See any similarity between the "saen" (pronounced with an open a/e sound, "sen" like in "sand" or "senator"), which means "a hundred thousands", and the words "cent", "century"? (albeit in Latin, as in Romanian, that would have been pronounced with "tche" sound like in "check").

Anyhow, why I posted, I may have told this story around, when our daughter was like 3 years old, she was very funny, and fluffy like a doughnut, and curly like Shirley Temple, all smiling face, and running around like a minion, doing naughty things. Now you see her, now you don't. Any time we went shopping in supermarkets, we had to keep her in the trolley, otherwise she would get lost between the shelves, then either start crying for us from some far corner of the hall, or start making a mess somewhere.

Thais are very found of babies in general, they are very nice and patient people, who love small children. So, they always tolerate her, give her small presents, touch her curly, light colored hair (Thai babies have dark, straight hair), and ask us, with a hand on her head, or with a finger pointing at her, but with the face turned to us, and looking into our eyes: "How old ARE YOU?"

This was always sooo funny. Especially for my wife, even she was never sensitive when asked about her age. Thai people mean the baby, nobody was interested in the age of some farang lady, or some mid-aged ugly farang guy.

But in Thai, "a-yu" means "age". Like in "what's you age?" (textually, "age, how much?", "a-yu tao rai?", where "tao rai" means "how much", everybody who bargained for prices in Thai bazaars knows that ). This "a-yu" is pronounced exactly the same like English "are you". So, asking a Thai how old is his baby, you would just say the baby or its name, then "a-yu tao rai". Baby, age, how much? This "how old are you" is a very confusing sentence, even for Thais that can handle English very well. They always associate the "a-yu" with the "are you" in "how old are you?", and the rest "how old" means "tao rai", i.e. "how much". Unless he/she experienced the similar situation in the past and learned from it, even the most proficient English speaker will do this mistake, asking "how old are you", when he/she refers to a third party person (i.e. instead of "how old is he/she/baby/etc").

About touching the head, Thai (in general Buddhist) people won't touch other people's children heads, unless mandatory, like kicking out a spider or something, haha, or unless they are family, close relatives, teachers, or monks, because in their religion, the head is considered as being the most sacred part of the body (as opposite to the feet, which are the dirtiest, because they walk in the dirt and dust). So, if you (Thai or farang) just go around touching people's heads, you may get beaten by some angry mob sooner or later. Well, I guess the way I said it, that could happen anywhere in the world, haha, but you got the idea.

On the other hand, they are kind persons, and they love children, they are eager to touch them, especially if the children are curly and blond (both rare for their babies), and they are curious too, like the Mycogenians in Asimov's books (those were people without hair, who were curious and eager to touch other people's hair, and get sexual arousal from it, even if their social norm considered that a perversion, and it was punished as a crime). Thais also know that we, farangs, and in general non-Buddhist people, don't mind, we don't get angry if somebody touches our children's head, with compassion, or love, etc., and asking somebody about his/her baby's age is always appreciated, a nice starting point of a conversation, and a door opener, therefore they will ALWAYS take plenty of advantage of the opportunity .

If you are farang in Thai and carry a cute toddler with you in a supermarket, there will be at least a Thai person or couple who will touch/pat the child's head, look directly into your eyes, smile, and ask "How old a-yu?".

Always!

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-03-28 at 09:20
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Old 2021-03-28, 13:01   #31
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
This is my favourite bilingual pun to demonstrate to friends that are bilingual. It works best out loud, not written, that is the key.
Nice one.

Do you know the motto of the French Navy?

A l'eau, c'est le heure.
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Old 2021-03-28, 13:20   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
and the words "cent", "century"? (albeit in Latin, as in Romanian, that would have been pronounced with "tche" sound like in "check").
It is now very well established that Classical Latin always pronounced the letter C hard, as in the English K and the Greek Κ. The conclusive evidence is that where a Latin word is found in contemporary Greek the latter invariably uses a kappa and not a sigma. It is most convincingly seen in bilingual place names and personal names such as Cerberus / Κερβερος and Berenice / Βερενίκη and, for that matter, 𓊸𓂋𓈖𓇌𓇯𓅬𓆇𓏏 in Egyptian the final pronounced consonant is a /k/ The final 𓏏 was a silent feminine marker in classical times. In much earlier Egyptian it was pronounced /t/ --- c.f. Arabic "bint" and the character remained /t/ in words where it was pronounced.

The "s" and "tche" pronunciations came much later with Vulgar Latin and its descendants such as Romanian and French.
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Old 2021-03-28, 18:00   #33
LaurV
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Well, opinions still vary. We had this argument once. Latins pronounced c as k every time, except when followed by e or i, which were pronounced "tche", and "tchi", like in "check" and "chimp". That is why the alphabet is "aa, be, tche, de" and not "aa, be, ke, de" (and you have "abecedary" or "abecedarium" in English, and not "abekedary", etc). When they wanted to avoid pronouncing it so, they inserted and "a" in between. Words like "kaizer" were written "caesar", and not "cesar", and kerberos is a borrowed word from greek, therefore irrelevant (yes, they were pronouncing it "tcherberos"), as well as place names (see how most of the world used to call for decades "Pekin", "Beijing"). The "ae" group was always pronounced like open "e" (like in english "bet"), there are many plurals of feminine words (which ended in "a") formed like that, for example "silva/silvae" (forest, forests), pronounced "silve".

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-03-28 at 18:08
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